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tv   The Steele Report  NBC  December 13, 2015 10:00am-10:30am CST

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week's edition of the steele report. a very important topic here in the seed dear valley as we talk with the future of career district. our guests tonight will be herere r all three segments because a very, very important vote coming topic. first of all, back for the third time, this is dr. jane lindan, superintennt of schools incorporate waterloo commumuty schoho disisict. she took over at superintendent here in the city in july of 2014 with the retirement of dr. gary norris. crystal buzza is with us today, the director for technical and professional education and welcome to krystal and also welcome to devon winters. a long time east high school teacher and business teacher and coordinator for the arts education and business academy for the waterloo community school district at west high school.
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quite a recommendation of the waterloo community school high school reform committee to greatly expand the career and technical aspect. so let's start with you, the superintendent, you're the head-on cho for this -- horch cho for this, so tell us what it's about. it's going to offer about 30 different career pathways for kids who may not want to go to a four-year school, right? >> dr. lindaman: weech beenenn mission on offer a variety of options for students. there were three recommendations. the first was to add 30 second cal programs to the district and secondly to o use them in facility facility, at a -- separate facility, at a separate building, and the third one was to do some needed renovations as east and west. >> ron: so as a teachch, ddevon, how do you view this? you've a lot vested here. you've been a teacher in the waterloo community school district for many, many years. this is a whole new approach. what do you think? >> winters: being a business teacher, this is oururarea, the career and technical education
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bit and i can see the true benefits for all students, not just technical students, but any student who is going to be in the workforce because everybody at s se point is going to work, so there's a lot of benefits for every student. >> ron: and chris stam, this is a new job for you as the professional in the charge of the technil aspect of the community school district and the way the future is going. how do you view what this proposal is? it's a very expensive proposal, almost $47 million thatvoters will basked to take that look at. >> buzza: this is, i would say if there's any time to be in the waterloo school district, this is so exciting. career technical education is really something for everybody. it's used to be known as vocational education and it was always for "those kids." those kids who didn't have a lot of promise, bus that's not true. career and technical education takes the hands-on skills for every student and how it translates to setting them up
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being able to be a part of something really exciting and putting something together and working with great teachers and a wonderful superintendent just makes it all come together and as a parent in the waterloo schools, i want think of a better place to have my kids. >> ron: so it's a $32 million plan for the career center -- >> 35. >> ron: 35 million for the career center located at the new building. >> it is a stand-alone building and it is located on property that the district already owns near central middle school. >> ron: and then the 6 million would be for -- >> 6 million at east high school and 6 million to start needed renovatitis at westless d we've used -- west high school and we've used local option money, sales tax money in great ways to do an excellent job of skeepg our elementaries, they're beautiful. we've done a lot at our middle schools and it's time to do things at the high schools. we've done some, but they're largely untouched, so we start@ the needed rovations, air
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renewal, windows, tuck pointing, all of those things that are really necessary. >> ron: so you come to the program today. we have you on here to tell the viewers what? what do they need to know about why and when will the vote be held? the voters will have a say in this. >> right, and that hasn't been determined yet. the school board has is acceceing petition signatures right now and they will make a decision at the december 14th board meeting. >> ron: so that would be -- actually, this show airs on the 13th, so thee very next day, that decision will be made, so i assume it will be sometime in 2016 certainly. >> right, and really there's only four dates in 2016 when you can vote, and so we would be looking at s sething in the spring and the earliest would be february 2nd, which is of interest to us. >> ron: so why take this path? i mean, i was noticing there's three ststtegic plans that the district has has over 120
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very active in being really bold in the way you're going about the future, so why this particular area? where is the need? we know that the jobs -- the skill levels of iowans sometimes is not high enough right now to fill some of these needed jobs. >> right. >> ron: so why this direction? >> we have a community of other 100 people working on -- doing two things. we really wanted to make sure we were meeting the needs of our local students. we also wanted to take a good look at what kids need to know to be successful in the future these days, because that's changed, and so when we looked at the labor market, we noticed it had really changed o`er time, whereas kids in thth 1950s and '60s f you didn't have a high school diploma, there were jobs available. that is not the case right now, and so we want to make sure that kids get opportunities to explore high school l while in high school, explore careers. you know, hopefully find something that is really of interest to them and maybe rule out something that is no of interest to them, and to set
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school, we believe all kids need to go to college. we just want to redefine the word college. it doesn't have to be a four-year university. you want them toget the training that will set them upup for theieifutute. >> ron: so devon, give me an example, in the new facility, should this all be approved and be built and everything, and what will be offered differently at the new staltfault that would not be offered -- facility that would not be offered in your business classes at west high school right now? >> for example, after the construction program, we'll have an arar i believe that would be large enough for them to start designing and building sections of houses that they'll be able to bring out and they're ing to have more high-tech things, such as health info mattics and that's one they will have the equipment there so students can use the equipment that might be in the medical field, things that are going to benefit them for their experiences. some kids are going to take these skills and go into that
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you know, the nursing, the cna and careers into the nursrsg fast, they may -- path, they may use and become a doctor, but pay their way through college doing those other positions first. so the's a lot of great experiences and things that we're going to see out there that we aren't able to have in our current location. and bring all the kids from all the buildings, that will be beneficial for everyone because then we're not having for double program throughout the district or t triple program with our three high schools. >> ron: so from the technical aspect, what do you see as the big advantage of having the separate stand-alone building awhy from the two existinghigh schools? >> one of the biggest things as a district is we know we want to offer equal programming for all of our students, equal access, and so in our research with our committee, when we did our work, we realized that students are very interested in current technical education, but traveling to the opposite high school was not something students were willing to do, but
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that's what helped us decide, but being able to go, i guess, deeper into the type of content that we can do because one teacher will specialize in one particular career path. right now in our industrial techology, that teacher could teach manufacturing, project engineering, also teach construction, and they could also teach cad engineering anan design, and so teaching those four different programs within an eight-period day doesn't allow them to go deeper beyond a certain level and some students might be interested in one program, but nototanothth. this way it will be one teacher focused on that, so when students come together, there might be a group of 20 students who want to take construction and 20 who want to take manufacturing and they can both do that at the same time. we won't be duplicating equipment, which is a huge benefit to us, and even for business partners, that's also important to us, so they will be coming to one location to meet wiwi all of our high school students. they get to work collaboratively.
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they just don't want to go to the other high school, and that's one thing you have to learn to do, work with different people from m fferent settings. >> have you done a survey with the students and asked them how many would be interested in going to the stand-alone building? i think that would be a determining factor. >> we did survey our student be to see what percentage of them would be interested in taking certain programs in depth. we have certain kids who anyway want o take a variety of programs, but we did survey and we had 91% of our students survey who were very interested in exploring a career program in depth. as we looked atour districts, it may not be 90%, it may be 50%, but we know a great percentage of our students really want this type of programming. >> ron: we talk about thth on the last show, for example an electrician, they say electricians will make 80 to $100,000 in the future.
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learn and somethinggyou will be teaching. well, we have to take one of our many breaks here. only two this morning on the show. we'll come back and talk more about what's happening with the waterloo community school district as far as career and technical education in the future.
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i'm just fascinated by i >> ron: welcome back to the steele report for this sunday morning, also we're online on
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and technical future of education for the waterloo community school district with dr. jane lindaman, who's the superintendent of schools, crystal buzza and also devon winters, a teacher@ at wt high school, and one of the things i i wanted t task you is who is supporting this plan to build this stand-alone facility out near central that -- what about businesses, your partnership with the university of nortrn iowa, hawkeye community college? where dodo they all stand on this really interesting and intriguing idea which is going to really change -- really put waterloo schools i think on the map in a lot of ways. >> i'll talk about the process and maybe crystal would like to talkbout the businesses and what they're saying, but the committee that worked on this all along, it took us a while. we've e en here before on the show talking about it and we've been at it for really over three years. >> the high school committee formed be -- had more than 30 people on it.t. >> wee had two different committees total, over 100
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one thing that -- the two things the committee said all along, we want to do what is best for waterloo students and the second thing is we want to do what's supported by the community and those two premises were present all the way through the work. we've had town hall meetings, dozens of focus groups. we actually had our committee members go out and survey people and bring that data back and we charted it. most recently we did a 400 person random survey, had another company do it for us because we really wanted to get that feedback. [he majority of people would support this. they believe it's the right work. and crystal can talk about businesses. >> along the lines of being able to engage our community, we knew that talking to business was so important because the way technical education works is you invite industry members to be part of an advisory board and they oversee curriculum and make sure it's going along with industry standards.
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student so they'll go right into the workforcecebut it's really to get them thinking whatever do they need to do a year or two additional post high school. but businesses really know that it's important that they're at the table saying here's what industry stataards are and here's what we look at and they want to work side by side with teachers to help coach the teachers because some of our tehers aren't coming from industry. they might have beeneneteran tetehers, so giving them that opportunity. businesses by far are super-excited. the hospitals know that they have a healthcare shortage and so this is one way to grow our own. that'sreally what we're also trying to do. iowa has a workforce issue and being able to keep our young students here in iowa and even in the cedar valley as really important goal for us. we want them to explore the cedar valley, know what's available for options, and so for businesses, they definitely have a vested interest of wanting to see that happen for our students. >> ron: it's'seally an exciting time. the curriculum, though, at the regular high school, that would not change.
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available as it is now or would that also under go a transformation so to speak? >> the graduation requirementnt would stst the same because students sill have to have 44 credits like they do now, and so they still need to have math and science and english and social studies and p.e. and, you know, all of those things.s. but right now, what really is the best way to describe the change is that students can take right now when they take their electives, they can take whatever they want and they can -- you know, if they have an area of intereststthere may be multiple courses that are offered in that area. hopefully if that's an interest, that we do have that right now, but for students, we want to make suree there's a depth a programming, a depth of courses for students to take and when tai take those courses, they take them as@a sophomore and that's really their area of interest and they can come back and d ke a deeper level as a junior and a deeper level as a senior, and then they could -- it could result in internships
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of these ladiesesants to talk about internships and partnerships. >> currently i'm the co-op teachers, so i've put students out in the community and on jobs and that is an area i think we're going to try and expand and ggw. we're going toto do a lot more job shadows, short-term, half a day, so they can see what it's like. maybe sophomore year and move up into the junior and senior jeer and get them placed in paid or unpaid internships and grow that program so every kid can have an internship and work it into thr schedule. what i've heard a lott from my there mae lacking a some of employ -- may be lacking some of the employability skills, so advertise something we'll tizen to work on. as we move towards this bl, beale grow those and dedelop them even more before the building is built. we'll get to that point and grow our classes, as jane was saying, grow those and expand those so the kids know what's going to be going out to. because we're looking at our freshmen and eighthth graders now
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want to make sure we grow our programming so they can see, oh, that's what i'll be taking when i get out there. so there's a thway there forr them to follow. >> ron: there is just me talking, but one area i think i see where you could curtail the dropout rate significantly at least by getting kids interested ininomething they're actctlly interested in and something at least at that time as they grow up, they'll say this stuff really makes sense to me, but they get on a career path that gets jumpstarted right away rather thanan doing whatt is happening. the dropout rate, i'm just startled by that sometimes. >> career education has always been a hook to keep kiki involved and the ds that are on the edge, we can save more. >> ron: and was about improving, for example, the academics of minorities too? that's always a certain. >> this is a program really for all students and when you talk about the drop outrate, that was
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in all th things we studied over these past three years, we tookok good look at the dropout rate and the graduation rate and we knew our graduation rate in waterloo is not where we need it to be. you know, you can look at the statistics and, you know, we run about 75% graduation ratat for a four-year graduation rate. we have some kids who stay another fifth year and sixth year, and we applaud that. that's absolutely fine, but what happens is if they don't complete in four years, a lot of times they leave us. and we just can't have that. and so we're losing far too many students and we're losing students of color, we're -- we need to keep all of our kids because if you don't graduate, there aren't very many opportunities out there, jobs out there for people, and so we want to do better and we know statistically when we've done our research,districts and buildings that have this type of program on average have a 92% graduation rate. that would be vastly different from what we have right now, and so it's a mission to do better for our ks.
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>> ron: and it's not an alternative school. you have a -- >> no -- >> ron: alternative school and that for various reasons don't want to be inthe high schools, don't seem to fit in. this is not what you're talking about at all. >> no, but it may save some of those kids. >> ron: it may be a new alternative sschool. >> absolutely, alternative learning environment. >> what it is is the hands-on learning. you know, one example, one of the programs wee looking at would be animal science. well, for student who'ss interestedsome veterinary, that would be -- interested in veterinary, that would be a good program. for a student sta wants to go to farm orfarm management, good program for them. you can go for a two-year or a cert ti fiction or you can go on for six years. high school as safe learning environment for kids to figure out the career area they want for their next level in life
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then trying to figure out what do i want to do. >> ron: we're going takeour final break, come right back. we're running out of time here on the program. it goes by so quickly. >> it does.
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paris: thehe's a lot to do on a dairy farm. nobody's gonna do it fororou. you have to get out there and do it yourself. bernie sanders is a well-known friend of family farms. bernie cannot be bought out by big money. bernie's opinion cannot be purchased. it's'sime for our next president to get in there, roll up his sleeves, take off the gloves, and take on wall street, take on big business, take on big money, and get the working class back twhere they should be. he's a rock. sanders: i'm bernie sanders and i approve this message. >> ron: welcome back to our final segment this week of the steele report. we have three representatives of the waterloo community school district talking about the ture of education inina different approach in the waterloo district with the
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and the new building being proposed out by central middle school. you worked with hawkeye community college, the university of northern iowa, so those are great partnerships. some people might say, well, would thb a duplication of what hawkeye is doing. exexain to us how that's not thth case and why you think this is the way to go. >> absolutely. well, one of the most important things when we looked going down this fast way is we did have -- pathway, we did have hawkeye at the table. dr. bradley and dr. allen were part of different committees. from hawkeye's standpoint, we're offering waterloo and hawkeye credit for many of our programs. students get the opportunity for college credit towards a program at hawkeye and it helps them figure out thahat program for when they do decide to transfer to lauk ki, it's a better pai way. kids are better prepared. that's one of the things that hawkeye said this would help our
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about. students start college and many students don't complete, but by having the base in high school, it really sets students up for success from the high school and from the college end. another great example, the program right now at hawkeye, they do offer a nursing assistant where our students go to hawkeye for that program, but it's so popular that there's always a waiting list. even hawkeye has a waiting list for that program. if we can offer some of that in this new center, that will alleviate a little bit of that, but we also know it's a need in the community y well,l,o we need to produce just as many as those healthcare workers as there is on the waiting list. from uni.s standpoint, being able to have students should she want to, transfer from high school level to the community college level to thefour-year university as huge thing and if we can do that in the cedar valley, that will be really dynamic, so we've been working at putting together
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all that programming will be accepted for certain programs all the way up to uni and that's a great gift for our students, so they're not taking college courses that don't fit into their pgram. >> ron: i think theoretically, that's a natural farm system if uni and hawkeye. >> as we talk with students out in other technical high schools, we asked them questions, where are you going to go. honestly,ings of them are going -- some of them are going to a two-year community college, many of them going to a four-year college, some going to work, but it gives them a lot of options. in the construction program in des moines, we were talking with the students, some were going to work, some were going to go to dmacc and others to iowa stays to be an architect or construction manager or engineer. it is a gateway to whatever the chide wants to do. >> and jane hit on going right into work. a lot of these areas we're going to focus in, they're going to have industry certifications
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can have something that they can back out the door and get a job in that area with that certification. >> that's fantastic. >> one last thing about the career tech center, it's a good thing for waterloo also because we have e udent organizations and the students actually apply what they've learned in their classes to competitions, and i've hadnational officers, state officers, a wide range, so these kids get leadershsh experience, they t a lot of different opportunities that they don't necessarily have if they're not involved in the career and tech areas. >> ron: now, does it have an actual name yet and how do you pay for it? >> name yet, no. right now we're creel calling it -- calling it the career center and the finance piece, we wanted to make sure somemeing that was supported by the community, but is best for kidss one thing we heard loud and clear was people wanted us to consider something differently as f as funding structure. the typical s sucture isyou have the property tax rate and then you add an additional amount.
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through a bond actually results in an increased property tax. so the committee really listen to people and we knew it was much more groodly supported to look -- broadly supported to look at something like an income surtax. we can't fund it through an income surtax because the law doesn't permitit, but we looked at something, we have something we're currently funding through property tax that could be sthifted on it to free up existing property tax dollars, so honestly, we're looking at funding it at the existing property tax rate. now, it would add an income surtax, but what we're looking at as a 4% tax. waterloo doesn't have one, but most districts does. >> ron: hudson do. >> around 82% of districts have an income surtax. waterloo is one of the 8% that does not. we're looking at an income surtax and there's a reason that distributes use it. it's pretty broadly supported, so the committee heard it and we
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whatever you owe, it would be a 4% surtax on that. it's very broadly supported and really six to one. for every one person who said put on it property tax, six people said do something different. >> ron: we'll talk more about that when you come back after the first of the year. that's it this week to the steele report. we'll be back with another topic ne week. you can join us online as always on as well.
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